What is Structural Inspection?
Structural inspection is an important part that helps to identify any faults or potential risks in a building’s structure by performing visual examination. Thus, ensuring the safety and integrity of a structure.
As with any other property, the structural integrity of a building is essential for its continued use and longevity. A structural inspection ensures that a building is safe and secure, free from potentially dangerous defects that could compromise its integrity.
Structural inspections involve visually examining several different elements of the building’s such as foundations, walls, beams, floors, columns, roofing systems structure, including steel components, foundations, and more.
Inspectors use both non-destructive testing methods such as tapping on surfaces with a hammer and hard object to identify weak spots as well as destructive testing methods such as drilling holes in order to gain access for further investigation.
The inspector will also check for signs of pest infestations or water damage which can also lead to structural weakness if left untreated.
The inspector will also look at any signs of construction damage or deterioration such as cracks in walls or floors, and check for termite infestation.
During the inspection process all materials used in the construction of the building will be checked for compliance with local codes and standards. Any issues found during this process may require immediate repairs or replacements to maintain safety standards within the property.
Why you Need a Structural Inspection?
For many homeowners, the decision to hire a building inspector may seem like an unnecessary investment. After all, if the home looks fine on the outside, why should they bother? However, regular structural inspections are key to protecting your property and ensuring its safety.
A building inspection is designed to identify any issues that may be present with a home’s structure or foundation.
It will take into account visible signs of damage such as cracks or bulging walls, but it can also detect underlying problems that are hidden from view. Which could potentially lead to costly repairs if left unchecked.
These issues could include rotten timber frames, plumbing leaks or electrical wiring problems which can put occupants at risk and lead to expensive repairs in the future.
Additionally, they can help detect environmental hazards like mold or asbestos that could affect the safety and health of those living in the home.
A structural inspection also helps assess any fire-related risks by examining smoke detectors and other fire protection systems, as well as identifying any flammable materials that may require removal or replacement. Furthermore, inspectors are able to examine wiring and electrical systems to ensure they meet current safety codes and regulations.
By having a building inspector examine your home regularly you can catch these potential problems before they become major disasters.
When Do I Need A Structural Inspection?
When it comes to home maintenance, a structural inspection is an important tool for ensuring your home’s safety.
A structural inspection looks at the integrity of your home’s foundation and any other supporting structures, such as walls and beams. Knowing when you need one can help protect your family from potential disasters like major flooding or collapse.
A Structural Inspection is required when:
- Buying a new house (buying an older home or building),
- House maintenance,
- House insurance,
- Construction of new property,
Structural Inspection Checklist
A structural inspection checklist is an essential tool for any property owner or manager to ensure their building is safe and secure.
Here are 10 key points to look out for when conducting a structure inspection:
- Check the overall condition of the structure, including its foundation, walls, roof, floors and ceilings.
- Look for signs of deterioration or damage such as cracks or bulges in the masonry or woodwork; sagging roofs; loose nails; broken boards or tiles; and water seepage from drains, gutters and downspouts.
- Examine all external parts of the building such as windows, doors, balcony railings and staircases. Check these components to make sure they are secure and appropriately maintained to ensure maximum safety for residents.
- Check that all surfaces are level and vertical.
- Look out for any signs of cracking in walls or windows, as well as any other indications of structural damage such as flaking paint or loose brickwork.
- Make sure doors and windows open and close properly; if they don’t, this could be an indication of further issues with the frame.
- Inspect the roofing tiles or shingles; broken or missing tiles can cause water damage to the interior parts of your home.
- Check that any exposed pipes are in good condition and not leaking; this includes inspecting under sinks, around bathrooms and laundry areas.
- Check Electrical Systems.
- Check Plumbing Systems.
Click here to Download editable PDF Structural Inspection Checklist by safetyculture.
Structural Inspection Standards
Structural inspection standards are important for ensuring the safety and integrity of buildings. The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) has published 70 standards on structural inspection that are used by engineers worldwide.
These standards cover a wide range of topics including steel structures, concrete structures, timber structures and more.
American Concrete Institute, also known as ACI also publish Structural inspection codes related to structure inspection.
How long does a Structural Inspection takes?
A structural inspection is a vital part of any construction or renovation project. Knowing the duration of the inspection process can help you plan for other parts of your project accordingly. The amount of time needed for a structural inspection largely depends on the size and complexity of the structure being inspected.
Structural inspections typically involve visual analysis and assessment to determine if the structure is sound enough to continue with its intended use safely.
This inspection may include an examination of foundations, walls, windows, doors, ceilings and more. On average, a Structural Inspection will take anywhere from two to four hours, depending on the size and complexity of the structure being inspected.
For small projects such as single-family homes or small commercial buildings, an inspector could complete their work in two to three hours.
However, larger structures such as high-rise buildings can take up to four days depending on their complexity and any additional equipment that may be necessary.